Locally-produced Opera Since 1974
NorrlandsOperan produces 2-4 opera productions per year and is an important player on the international opera scene, not least of all as a result of our collaboration with other major opera houses within Sweden and abroad. Since 2002, NorrlandsOperan has had a first-class stage for large-scale opera productions, on which a number of internationally recognised singers have since performed, including Erica Sunnegårdh in Puccini's Turandot (directors: Matthes Richardson/Patrik Sörling), Emma Wetter in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (director: Elisabeth Linton) and Michael Weinius in Britten's Peter Grimes (director: Tobias Theorell). Other examples of large-scale productions at NorrlandsOperan include Tosca, Jenufa,The Barber of Seville,Rusalka, blog opera Sjökor och stekare, the dance-theatre-opera Mitt hjärta brister, Porgy and Bess and The Magic Flute.
NorrlandsOperan's commission also includes responsibility for touring performances and a number of its productions have been performed for audiences around northern Sweden thanks to the Northern Sweden Network for Opera and Contemporary Dance (NMD). NorrlandsOperan has also undertaken international tours with productions produced in partnership with Cape Town Opera in South Africa and the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theatre. The unique exchange between NorrlandsOperan and Cape Town Opera began in 2005 and the production of the opera Rusalka, which premièred in Cape Town in 2006, was the first of three joint opera productions undertaken. A production of Porgy and Bess was also performed in 2006 and, after premièring in Umeå and Cape Town, went on to visit Berlin and to tour the UK.
Three years in the writing, the latest joint production between the two opera houses, Poet and Prophetess, had its grand première in Umeå in 2008. The music for the work was composed by NorrlandsOperan's composer-in-residence, Mats Larsson Gothe. The 18th-century story of the prophetess Jula and Swedish poet Bengt Lidner was hailed by the media as "the best newly-composed opera for 20 years".
NorrlandsOperan's collaboration with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theatre began in 2005 and in the autumn of the same year, a joint-production of Così fan tutte was performed in both Umeå and Vietnam. In 2009, both the classic opera La Bohème and a newly-composed blog opera, Dream and Reality, were produced. In 2010, NorrlandsOperan collaborated with The Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen in the performance of a newly-composed opera based on Danish director Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark, directed by Kasper Holten.
The following operas have been produced in 2011-2012: Verdi's Othello (director: Dmitri Bertman), Alban Berg's expressionist opera classic Wozzeck (directors, costumes and set design: Carina Reich and Bogdan Szyber), Georges Bizet's Carmen (director: Helena Röhr) and the newly-composed opera The Elephant Man by Carl Unander and Michael Williams.
In the spring of 2013, NorrlandsOperan performed Puccini's La Bohéme, with debutante director Kristofer Steen at the helm. In the autumn, NorrlandsOperan treated audiences to the family-friendly opera Snödrottningen, based on the story by H.C. Andersen (director: Staffan Aspegren).